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Amazon Has a Really Strange New Marketing Tactic. It's Either Genius Or Utterly Crazy

Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.

Do you think of Amazon as a ruthless company?

Do you think it so dedicated to customer service that it treats its employees terribly?

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Or do you merely get annoyed when your body wash arrives a day late?

I only ask because it’s easy to think of Amazon as a vast machine that won’t tolerate inefficiciencies or what it sees as overly vocal New York politicians.

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Personally, I’ve been vocal about the company’s recent peddling of Whole Foods’ wares. I find it wholly unappetizing.

Yet Fast Company put me on to a recondite Amazon sales activity that threatens to be beguiling.

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You see, the company is using horoscopes to get its Amazon Prime members excited about shopping.

Each horoscope offers a different thought about the products Amazon thinks you should buy.

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What could I do but see if Jeff Bezos’s company understands me? I am, as we all are, desperate to be understood.

Off I went, then, to the Amazon Prime Insider page to see just how well Amazon can, as modern vernacular has it, feel me.

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The horoscopes are written by astrology writer and visionary (sic) Anna Katz.

Has Katz perhaps looked at my buying patterns and deduced who I am?

Or does her visionary nature simply intuit my needs?

She began:

Oh, Lordy. She has no idea, does she? She doesn’t know me at all.

Nevertheless, she persisted:

I’m glad Katz’s visionary nature means I don’t have to offer existential answers and can merely laugh and riot.

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And, now that I know her visions are available to Amazon Prime members on a monthly basis, will it be tempting to stop by and check them out?

It might be.

Given Amazon’s often prosaic ways of approaching sales, I confess I was pleasantly moved by this departure into attempted charm.

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I know that many people swear by horoscopes, even though these prognostications have always struck me as offering a tinge of tosh with a splash of balderdash.

So I quickly squinted at my wife’s horoscope:

My wife’s more Star Wars than Star Trek.

Still, this is quite some marketing tactic, one that has the potential to bring customers back each month, just for a touch of entertainment.

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It’ll surely be quite a challenge for Katz to invent new Amazon products or services that will fit into different horoscopes, but at least it’s a slightly different approach to the mundane.

I was about to end by saying that it’s often worth trying outlandish marketing tactics, just in case they happen to catch on.

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You can start them at small scale, seed them a little and see if fascination around them grows as organically as a Whole Foods vegetable.

But just now, my wife came up the stairs and said:

She had no idea what I was writing, nor had I told her about Amazon’s horoscopes.

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How’s that for freaky, visionary marketing?

Illustration for article titled Amazon Has a Really Strange New Marketing Tactic. Its Either Genius Or Utterly Crazy

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